Kristen Joy Wilks
Many of you have heard of author Kristen Joy Wilkes. She received her first contract in 2014 and look at her now! TWO years later with THREE published books! Her books include two comedic Christian romances, one of which is for teens, and “I Thirst” a 40 day look at the Psalms put out by the staff and authors at Pelican Book Group. Kristen is one of the 40 authors who contributed.
Kristen is the wife of a camp director, mother of three busy boys and she still finds time to write. I asked her to share some of her writing experiences with us.
Congratulations and Welcome!
*Was your heart always into writing?
I was chosen out of everyone in my first grade class to go to a young writer’s conference and hear Steven Kellogg speak. I prepared my own book to take with me. My parents and I shaped the cover like a guinea pig. I told the story of our Scottish terrier’s thwarted attempt upon the life of my brother’s special pet….a guinea pig. I came back from the conference with a Pinkerton book by Steven Kellogg and the first sprout of a hope that perhaps I too could be a writer. The thought had never crossed my mind until I was chosen to attend the conference. It shows how powerful an influence our teachers are in our lives. Just one person thinking that you are good at something, goes such a long way.
*The road to getting published is a long one. I noticed you have as many revisions as any writer has. Where do you get your inspiration to continue?
I wrote all through grade school, high school, and college, but didn’t take the dream to become published seriously until 2001. I enrolled in several distance courses with The Institute of Children’s Literature and eventually began writing 5-7 days a week. I received my first book acceptance in 2014. That is a long time. Why I kept writing and why I keep writing? Writing is the one thing that I desperately want to become amazing at and is something I just love. Not Kristen the wife or Kristen the mother, but plain old Kristen loves to write. Some women garden or sew or craft, I write.
*Where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes I get ideas from a fascinating picture, as in the photo of an abandoned castle that sparked the idea for The Volk Advent. Sometimes I get ideas from watching someone else’s spiritual journey or just people watching. Four of my ideas actually came after I prayed for inspiration. It is so amazing to see God step into our daily concerns and stir the mind and creative spirit within us.
*Anything funny, unusual happen on your journey?
My very first published piece was a chapter in Nancy Kennedy’s “Miracles and Moments of Grace: Inspirational Stories from Mothers.” I wrote about this terrible day when my three boys were 2, 4, and 6 years old. I was on a phone conference and they tore apart the house like velociraptors. They emptied seven packets of Jell-O and a bottle of hand soap in the corner. They dumped sugar and cornmeal and garbage cans. They unzipped bean bag chairs, urinated with wild abandon, and bit each other. I would be cleaning in one room and they would tear apart the other. I would move to repair the new damage and they would find something in a different room to destroy. It was very exciting to write about later, after I’d had a chance to recover sufficiently. So ironic that those everyday trials of a young mom would bring about my first published piece. Some people think that your family slows or stifles your creative endeavors. I found myself inspired by the horror of that day.
*What would you like everyone to know about yourself?
I started out writing trying to be all serious and writerly and super amazing. But the most fun I ever had with words was in Jr. High when my bosom buddy Emrys and I would stay in at recess and write crazy stuff like “The Soapy Sudsy Sewer Search” and “Revenge of the Hippies.” I’m not sure that being writerly is my gift. I think that there is a temptation to take ourselves very seriously as Christians, because there are a lot of serious issues out there and eternal decisions being made everywhere we look. But I want to give people a rest from the heavy nature of this fallen world. I want to write a fun book that glorifies God and makes people laugh. Even if the topic is serious, there is life and love and laughter to be found amongst the pain. You can glimpse God through eyes filled with tears or after spraying your coffee all over your e-reader and your cat because of an unexpected laugh. I want my stories to have that.
Kristen, along with a few others have written a devotional titled I Thirst
It is a free download
You can see and read more about Kristen at www.KristenJoyWilks.com
Thank you so much Kristen. We look forward to reading your future books.